Verizon Communications has named Leslie Berland as chief marketing officer, effective Jan. 9, according to a press release. The executive is taking over the top marketing appointment following the departure of Diego Scotti, who announced plans to step down earlier this year after serving as the telecommunication giant’s CMO for nine years, an unusually long tenure for the C-suite spot. Verizon last year also lost its chief creative officer Andrew McKechnie amid a broader streamlining of its marketing organization.
Berland will have a wide remit around marketing activation and effectiveness, creative strategy, consumer insights and forging strategic and media partnerships. She will join Verizon’s executive leadership team and report directly to CEO Hans Vestberg.
“There has never been a more transformative time for our industry. While our networks and technology are core to realizing the promise ahead, the strength of our brand is critical to delivering on our strategy and maintaining our momentum,” said Vestberg in a statement. “As we design and develop a more connected world, we need a marketing leader with the foresight and vision to usher in a new chapter for the Verizon brand that reflects how we are growing as a company.”
Berland is jumping to Verizon after a brief stint at Peloton, where she has acted as CMO since January. The connected fitness marketer has struggled to turn around after riding a high earlier in the pandemic when gyms were closed due to public health considerations. In the quest to spark new growth, the brand has shaken up its marketing strategy several times and experienced executive churn in the process.
Berland was credited in the press release with helping Peloton launch a refreshed brand identity earlier this year and engage the company’s member community. Peloton beat Wall Street’s estimates on revenue in the most recent financial quarter but reported steeper losses than expected while giving a dim outlook for the key holiday period.
Prior to working at Peloton, Berland led marketing efforts at the company formerly known as Twitter for over six years. She held a dual role as chief people officer for most of her tenure at the social media platform, which saw an exodus of veteran employees after Elon Musk took over last year and enacted intense cost-cutting measures. Before that, Berland spent over a decade at American Express, where she aided in the financial services marketer’s digital transformation.
Verizon is contending with a highly competitive market for wireless carriers, where it must fend off not only established rivals like AT&T and T-Mobile but also cheaper upstarts like Mint Mobile. Verizon operates a value-focused brand called Visible. The company earlier this week announced a deal with Netflix and Max to bundle ad-supported versions of the streamers as part of its My Plan offering for $10 per month. Verizon saw revenue decline by 2.6% to $33.3 billion in Q3.